Side effect: Drug abuse triggers spike in drugstore holdups

WHAT: More than 1,800 armed robberies at pharmacies nationwide have happened during the past three years, as desperate young men demand OxyContin, Vicodin and Xanax to ease their addictions or to sell at high prices.

WHERE: Florida, Indiana, California, Ohio and Washington have had the most armed robberies of pharmacies since January 2008. But Maine, Oklahoma and Oregon had the biggest increases last year.

WHAT’S BEING DONE: Pharmacists are installing banklike security measures such as bulletproof glass, high counters, upgraded surveillance cameras and GPS tracking devices. A California pharmacy worker was shot to death last year.

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